Changing Career Paths: D’Vaughn Gaines

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D’Vaughn Gaines

Would you make a drastic change in your career if it might lead to a better financial future? That is exactly the decision D’Vaughn Gaines decided to make. Although he liked his job working in the schools, D’Vaughn wanted to find a career path that could help him provide more for his family. He just didn’t know what new path he might take. 

Then, his heat went out. 

“Our heater went out during the winter, and I knew it would be expensive to get someone to take a look at it,” says D’Vaughn.  

D’Vaughn says he always considered himself to be handy so he decided to try to figure out what was wrong with the heat and see if he could fix it himself. And he could! That set off a chain of events that led him to begin a search for HVAC programs in his area. He landed at Charter College, Pasco and says it was a great decision. 

Learning HVAC and So Much More 

When D’Vaughn started his courses at Charter College, he learned so much more than the core lessons of the HVAC program. Learning how to work with others and handle interactions with people from a variety of backgrounds taught him lessons about collaboration and professionalism.  

“In my experience at Charter, I was working with many different personalities. The instructors showed me how I’d need to work with people in different situations and how it would help me handle customer interactions when I’m working in the field,” says D’Vaughn. 

D’Vaughn says his instructors at Charter College always wanted to see him and the other students do well in their classes and succeed in their careers. Being a family man, life can get busy for D’Vaughn. There were times when he needed to reach out to his instructors after normal hours, and they always responded quickly and worked hard to give him the answers he needed.  

While D’Vaughn learned a lot from his instructors and his peers, he says Campus Manager Angela Padgett was especially helpful. She helped him find a work study opportunity on campus to get even more hands-on experience and bring extra income into his household. The added time in the HVAC/R lab allowed him to see plenty of real-world heating and AC systems and the problems they might have. D’Vaughn says that he also had more time to spend with other HVAC students, help them with their studies, and become a mentor for newer students in the program.  

Beyond HVAC Certification 

Because D’Vaughn is always thinking of the future, after he completed his HVAC training, he decided to continue on for his Associate Degree in Applied Technology. An associate degree has many benefits, providing business knowledge to hands-on career paths. D’Vaughn says he wants to learn everything he possibly can about the HVAC profession. Next, he’d like to become a journeyman, but after that—in 10 years or so—he’d like to open his own business. D’Vaughn maintains contact with some of his fellow graduates of the Charter College HVAC program who share similar aspirations, and they continue to cheer each other on as they continue their journeys.  

Could you fix your own heating system? Fixing others can turn into a rewarding career as an HVAC Technician. Check out the Charter College HVAC/R program and then give us a call at 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more now.